Abstracts


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This is the first one. I started out from the edges of the paper, and worked my way inwards, one color at a time. I had first thought of going all the way in to the center, but then halfway in I liked the negative space of the white paper so I started working from the middle out.

The only plan I had on this was those two blue 'eyebrow' things. My thought was I would just start out with something and take it from there and do whatever I felt like without thinking of it too much. Too loose, I had stuff going on here and there, but it wasn't hanging together. Tried to integrate stuff, but not as successful as I'd like to have been. Here I had a very strict plan to begin with. I copied one of my layouts where I put the lino stamps on the watercolors (this one was from Square Women 8), but then instead of stamping it I painted the shapes of the stamps on, then I basically just filled in the white space, it ended up looking like one of my geometrics. Went over the corners with a wet brush so that they looked mottled and I liked this effect. Had another grid plan on this one, a little looser, and then I just started to add onto it. Made a deliberate effort to break out of the symmetric grid. I wanted to have a lot of layers, paint over paint, and patterns over patterns. Hard to know when you're done with something like this. Eventually just ran out of opportunities and space to put down more paint.

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I had the same plan as for #4 with this one, but the original symmetry was so strong that I couldn't break out of it so I just continued the symmetry. I had another strong grid underpinning, and although I did break out of the symmetry, I couldn't get out of the grid pattern. An even stronger grid, I kept going over and over it until there was no more I could think to do. Dispensed with the grid. Started out with an oval white space in the middle and worked around it with viridian and permanent rose. Was thinking at the beginning that I would keep putting one over the other until I had mostly black and grey with just a few spots of red and green but it seemed like it was finished before I got to that point so I stopped.

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I wanted to go dark with this one, and maybe I got too dark, was kind of lost in it towards the end but then I thought that the figure on the left looked like a caterpillar, and I went with that and it made a little more sense after that. I started out with just a bunch of lines crisscrossing each other but leaving that white spot towards the center untouched. I limited myself to colors from yellow to purple, and painted more lines and filled in some of the shapes between the lines. I wanted the center to stand out and for it to look more diffuse towards the edges. I was doing an earlier painting where I put down an orangey yellow wash and then painted on it with ultramarine, and I just loved the way the ultramarine went granular and decided I would try an abstract with that combo. Started out with kind of a morning glory pattern, added some rose and a little purple and just kept working it over until it looked done to me. I didn't have anything planned for this one. Just put some colors out almost randomly, but it all seemed to gel. Not that I had planned anything like it, but to me it has a Cezanne look, the colors and the shapes. That's what I think anyhow.

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This seemed like a good idea, but it didn't work out. I had this silhouette from one of the Margaret Cameron photos, a woman leaning over. If you can make it out, that's her neck at the left, her chin in the center and her mouth towards the right and then a bit of her nose. Then I took the same silhoutte and repeated it in the four quadrants. Just didn't work out. What can I say? I started painting these two at the same time, and I started them both out the same way, and I thought they would diverge as they grew, but they didn't diverge as much as I'd thought. Still like them though. in some of the shapes between the lines. I wanted the center to stand out and for it to look more This is the second one. I tried to do something here where I would have four versions of the previous two types of paintings and I would set them up so that they were symettrical along the horizontal and along the vertical, and then the idea was that they would slowly diverge as the painting progressed, and also that I would go over and over it so that so that there would be many layers, but it just didn't seem to work out.

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This one I started out by just cleaning some paint off my palatte. I'd gotten into the habit of not mixing my colors but just laying them from the tube onto one another and mix on the paper, but I felt like I wanted to get back to doing that and so these colors are all what I call non-rainbow colors, put them on kind of heavy. Here I started out with maybe ten tomato flowers spaced evenly around the paper, then I started connecting them with various lines, worked on patterns. Some of the tomato flowers got wiped out by the different sets of connecting lines, but it worked out pretty well I thought. I started out with just the bottom part. My thought was to have a sharp horizon line and in the foreground blue and orange mixed to make shapes. Not sure how I ended up with two horizon lines, but I liked the way the white stood out so I used it more. Then I divided it into sectors for the other complementary colors and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. It looks so serious. I took a closeup from #19, more or less from the central section. Followed the red and green on the top fairly closely but took some liberties with the blue and orange on the bottom.

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This is a closeup from #20 which is a closeup of #19, I wonder if I should have made it a little darker. I like this little series, but I think this is as far as it is going to go. #20 and #21 looked a little pale to me, and I wanted to get darker. It also got a bit more detailed. What I was thinking of here was just a blue orange spike coming up from the bottom of the page. Well then I added a couple more, and then some on the top, and then some on either side, and then that plaid pattern appeared to hold the thing together. This started with sort of a bug in the center, you can still see some of its legs. Nothing seemed to be going anywhere until I put that horizontal line through the center. Then made two horizontal bands above it by taking up paint, and then added the vertical bands underneath it.

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This again started out again with the blue orange spike up the middle, but I made it more twisty, then added some more from the top and they joined up. In those spaces inbetween I put in some green and red texture and then washed it out. Purple and yellow are the most difficult complementary colors to work with so I decided to see what I could do with them. I started out with some broad yellow stripes of wet yellow and dropped purple into it and got that nice rippling effect. Those 'holes' going down the center were an accident, and I tried to accentuate by adding some more on the right, but I think that diluted the effect. Still it's a nice one to just sit and look at for awhile. This is also a nice one to sit and look at for awhile. Originally it was going to be fuzzier, like in the background, but then the lines just kind of took over. Originally this was just going to be some small sunflower heads seen from behind, but I didn't like the composition and added those little white flowrs around the edges and it still wasn't working so I would carry it to class with me and at the end of the class whatever paint was still wet on the palatte, I would put onto the painting and not very carefully either, but then at some point I decided I liked the result, kind of carefree and happy I thought.

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This was done on the pattern of 18-22, but a little more open. 30 and 31 go together with three stripes of complementary colors, then other sets of complementary colors are put on top of them. I meant to go further on this one, but it suddenly seemed finished. I kept going on this one. Here I was kind of experimenting with white space. I've always been uncomfortable with it. It seems somehow wasted because there is nothing there. On the other hand it makes the painted part stand out more clearly, have a better defined space. At one point there was too much white and that's why I put those hairs into it. Still I don't think it works. Those dangly things don't have much to do with each other. There is just no overall plan to it.

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I've always been interested in doing something like an all year painting. Well not a year, but a long time. I usually spend ten to twenty hours on a painting, and this one maybe I spent twice as long on. I put stuff in and then went back with a wet brush and took it out, and then I painted over that and then took part of that up so that I sort of had one painting on top of another on top of another. I like the way it turned out. This was another attempt at an all year painting. I had a lot of paint scaps on my palette and I wet it to take everything up and the resultant color was that greyish green that makes up the tree. Wasn't necessarily meant to be a tree I just wanted a nice mixture of paint and white paper. Thereafter I went through it step by step, and at each step I wrote down what decision I made. It gets boring quickly but here it is I was thinking mostly of a map sort of thing here. Kind of reminds me of a golf course. And yet another all day painting. A mixture of wet and dry and tiny rectangles.

rules 1



rules 2



rules 3



rules 4


For the first of these four, I wrote down the decisions after I made them. Then I used them as a guide for the next three. Here are the rules.

Blue



Green



Yellow/Orange



Red


For these next five I limited myself to only one color.

Purple



Seven Session Painting


This one I spent all seven class sessions on, I put layer after layer of paint on it. Has a nice fuzzy look I think.